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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Feb 13, 2007 5:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

Under or overrated by whose account?

1969 isn't underrated--or they wouldn't have sold 10,00 copies of the Fillmore set in a few weeks. It is brilliant in it's manic jamming--though there are a few too many repetitive short tunes.

1970--everyone here seems to love 1970--Fec 13-14, Harpur, May 15, Sept 17-20. No sweat there.

1972--brilliant! The addition of Keith fires them up like a rocket. Each tour seems better than the last.

1971--yes, a bit overrated until the Fall. Especially when sandwiched between 1970 and 1972. Still--the Fall shows!

So underrated? 1967-1968.

Overrated?

1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995.

When I get insomnia, I simply recite the above dates like so many sheep jumping lazily across fences.


Yeah, yeah. SB--Fire. And so on. Pretty; but not intense.

Flames on!

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 13, 2007 5:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

Let me get this straight: You think the Dead basically should have hung it up after 1974?

Everything from that year on is overrated in your opinion?

hmmmm....songs like Help-Slip-Frank, Estimated, Terrapin, Althea, Samson, Touch, Esau, Throwing Stones, Crazy fingers, Music Never stopped, Standing on the Moon, all superfluous?

hey, enjoy your 1969 acid-test Dead. There's some great stuff there.

But it's raw, it's often terribly played (dont take my word for it--look up scores of interviews Jerry gave in which he said many of the late 60's, early 70's performances were downright embarrassing)...and the years you dismiss so casually were introduced some of the band's best and most popular material...not to mention improvements made to earlier tunes like Loser and Deal and cassidy that were extended in to much greater and more musically mature jams.

Come on, folks. Overrated is a strong word. Consider its actual definition before bandying it about so casually.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 13, 2007 7:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

I worked with a DEAD cover band in the 70s in northern CA. Not a muscian myself, but met many, and most agreed that the top years of the DEAD were 68-73, and that following that time period, time took its toll. Doesn't mean they didn't produce great music that we can all appreciate, and indeed, the 70s are clearly preferred by a majority of folks here at the forum (as one objective sample on this issue).

But I would argue that preference is one thing and that discussions of vocal abilities, note attainment, speed, etc., etc., are relatively objectively defined, and by many accounts, their own included, the DEAD more or less steadily declined. It is simply inescapable in sports, or most anything you do that requires tremendous energy and fine motor skills...does that mean there were not amazing nights all through their careers? No. Did they come more infrequently? Yes.

Does this mean they peaked in 65? No, it took a few years to get the sound, but the notion that it took 8 to 10 years, and that with the age they reached and the extreme wear and tear they subjected themselves to suggests to me that much past the early 70s is not so easily defended on objective grounds (again, having NOTHING to do with preference).

Again, that doesn't mean 77 can't be preferred...



This post was modified by William Tell on 2007-02-13 15:22:09

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 13, 2007 7:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

Hello, WT. How are things going for you old friend? I think you're on the money there. To my mind it's pretty obvious that the Dead were in a long decline from about the early 80s (maybe earlier?) with flashes of the old brilliance now and then to keep us hoping. I think the proof of this is in the fact that they scarcely (with one or two notable exceptions) wrote any new songs worth a damn after Terrapin. You might almost say that the Grateful Dead became a Grateful Dead covers band. There were a lot of interesting variations being played on what was a pretty fine core repertoire of themes and there was short-lived burst of adrenalin when Hornsby took the piano chair in the early 90s - but there was precious little that was really new.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 13, 2007 7:32am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

In limbo--just hadn't had the energy nor interest to post responses until the past 24 hrs, so I suppose that means things are improving. Really, really appreciated your post the other day vis a vis communicating. Want you to know that. Family trauma--something everyone faces (death), but circumstances made it all the more difficult. What are those 'five phases' everyone talks about? Anyway, pile on anger, guilt, sadness, shock (no awe), turmoil, temporary insanity, numbness, and that about sums it up.

Good to know you are here when I can make it; Ashes and Arbuthnot, and kind hearted Cush and Dire too.

What a personalized forum it has become, in spite of your efforts to spice things up (har, har). Hmmm, maybe in part because of those efforts.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Feb 13, 2007 7:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

William - the offer still stands, get in touch at any time if you want to. I'm really not one for handing out easy sympathetic remarks (I think you know me better than that). You are right that this is something we all must face at some point in our lives, though knowing that doesn't make it any easier when it's you that has to face it. There are times when intellect fails us entirely and you, my friend, have just had to navigate your way through such a time. Just know that when you've weathered those stormy passages you have friends waiting to welcome you back to shore.

It's the personalized nature of this forum that keeps me coming back!

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Feb 13, 2007 10:20am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

Missed the tongue-in-cheek tone of the reply?

I happen to like what I like (1967--1973) for two reasons. 1) I was there--that was my time to see and enjoy, and the so-called raggedness was the perfect backdrop to those turbulent times. 2)I liked the songs better. I liked the Eleven, St. Stephen, Workingman's, American Beauty, Europe '72.

On the other hand . . . I bought every l.p. that was released when it was released, and I liked all of them. I have favorites--Crazy Fingers comes to mind--but I don't feel that the later stuff is that good. I think Hunter's lyrics from, say, 1970--73 are amazing. I think they are among the best that rock has to offer. I think they get a little triter as time goes on. JUST MY OPINION.

I would never doubt the proficiency of the group post 1973-4. Jerry's style had changed, but he could still play sweetly. I think Phil is a bit more subdued, but he chose to be--that was the presentation of that configuration of the band. I must admit, as I have many times on the board, that I know next to nothing about the latter day Dead--the Brent years, etc. By the time Brent came along (1979), my musical sensibilities were long gone from rock and roll in general.

Seriously, Scarlet Begonias--Fire on the Mountain is often stunning in its smooth transition. But that' the point: I liked it rough and rumbly and fast and fierce.
Sure, there are many crappy shows in 1969--I've already conceded that point.

It's just that I would never trade a night of the Dead at the Fillmore East for an entire run at MSG. And I would take Pig Pen over Donna or Brent any day of the week.

Those of you who diss the early stuff weren't likely there. And I was not in attendance later on. Besides--how can you really listen to music in a freaking stadium?

And I won't apologize for what I like. And neither should you or you or you or . . . . .

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Feb 13, 2007 11:34am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

[To GhostofPig]

Understood, and hard to argue w/being at the Fillmore over any stadioum anywhere.

I am envious beyond belief that you got to see them (and Pig) in such intimate and historic venues.

I guess my point wasn't in arguing over the finer points of 69-73 vs. 77-whenever...but to claim all the years after '74 OVERRATED is, I think, off point. The band had changed its sound tremendously with the changing times, and part of the Dead's remarkable place in rock history is the band's longevity.

the years post '77 til the end are as much a part of the band's legacy as the pioneering days. Even tho' i'm not a huge fan of "Touch", the simple fact is that was the band's most popular song ever, and helped the band reach vast swaths of new audiences that otherwise never would have been turned on to that music. You decide if that was a good or bad thing, it's debatable. But if one TouchHead hapened to listen to an appreciate Live/Dead or Anthem from digging Touch, I think that's OK.

More to the point, the years post 74 were years of musical growth--whether you LIKE that growth or not is besides the point. had they stayed the same as they did in 74 they never would have made it as far as they did. And BTW, they sounded a lot different in 74 than they did in 69.

'77 just aint overrated, tho'. I'll fight that one til the end!

This post was modified by grendelschoice on 2007-02-13 19:34:50

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Feb 13, 2007 1:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

"And BTW, they sounded a lot different in 74 than they did in 69."


Amazingly different. This was a band that was always changing.
Really: the whole thing is just a matter of taste. You could play me a piece or so from anytime anywhere and I might really like it. I guess the biggest thing for me is that life moves in strange directions and many of us got off the bus early on.
Who knows what we missed?

But I will say this: I don't think I could ever suffer through a blazing hot afternoon in a stadium full of folks ten or twenty years younger than I am. Yikes!

A good friend of mine (who is twenty or so years younger) said to me when Jerry died: "I'm glad I went to see them when I did." We all know Bill Graham's comment--they are not only the best at what they do, they are the only ones who do what they do--and I'm sure it held true to the end.

But, as Patrick Henry put it, "give me than choppy sloppy from the heart and soul psychedelic rock from 1969 or give me death."

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Poster: glenn Date: Feb 13, 2007 1:52pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

Yep the Grateful Dead are and were the most underrated and overrated band of their time.

If you don't listen to a broad sample from all of their material, you won't ever know how much you love their music... or which songs you hate.

Before being dragged to my first Grateful Dead show(1974 Cow Palace), I told my friends pretty firmly: "I don't want to go see some Death Rock band, I just dropped acid"...

you never know until you know, right?

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Feb 13, 2007 1:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

under rated, 1966 - the raw primitive stuff is an acquired or learned taste, but I love it, it's pure energy, just playing, not mature yet, it's almost bar band but proficient... though maybe Jerry hasn't broken out yet, but year's end he's well on the way.

under rated songs from 1966 include "Keep Rolling By", great call and response between Jerry and Pigpen. It's on Birth of the Dead.

Also, Alice D. Millionaire, and others.

1967 is unde rated, but there's not enough live stuff on tape to prove it.

1968 St. Stephens I like better than 1969 ones generally, because they're rawer, and aren't set in stone yet as to the lead breaks anyway... much looser, I like that.

1970 - maybe not enough stuff was recorded (properly), and proving it was a great live year is hard. At least Festival Express comes close to showing what they were really like that year.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 13, 2007 2:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

My God...bow down before Cream Puff...

Thank you. And, thank you.

Seriously.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 13, 2007 11:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

Damn it--stop rubbing it in.

Screw you and the early era bus you rode in on.

Envious, I post in green fueled anger as even though I am an old fart relative to the punks around these parts (said with affection, boys...and girl...?), I only saw them post 74 and you, you...well, you can just kiss Brent's dead butt...

[do I have to add the tongue in cheek disclaimer or do we 'know' each other well enough for it to go unsaid? Just said it anyway]



This post was modified by William Tell on 2007-02-13 19:09:30

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Feb 13, 2007 1:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

Ha! Of course your tongue is in someone's cheek.

There are things to be said for being born at the right time--whatever time that may be. For me, it was the right time AND place. My senior year in high school was 1969, and the senior lounge was decorated with all of our copies of the Moby Grape poster before they erased the finger.

"Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine . . . ."

"Pleased to meet you. Won't you guess my name?"

"Acid, incense and balloons."

"Excuse me while I kiss the sky."

"I want to put a tiger, baby, in your sweet little tank."

But I didn't inhale, and I didn't have sex with that woman. It was the other woman.

And I thank my father for his inspiration. He was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal--early 1967-- about these hippie bands from S.F. with names like Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. "Grateful Dead?" he remarked sarcastically. "Try 'Ungrateful Living."

That sealed it for me. I thanked him many years later.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Feb 13, 2007 2:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

In the Bay Area, all the kids here should know, EVERYONE considered Moby Grape head and shoulders above the rest.

I will not attempt to defend that, as I did not personally buy into it, but that was the conclusion of most all SF music types for a couple of years in late 68-69.

I had that poster...with and without the finger...

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Poster: not_a_typical_daydream Date: Feb 13, 2007 6:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: most UNDERRATED/OVERRATED years?

'75 overrated? They only played four shows.